First of all, I apologize for my egregious laxity in blog-posting. By the middle of last semester, it got de-prioritized as I really began working through how I want to live into my time at YDS and what I need out of this experience. But now, after a little home-time re-charge, I'm back in action... and reflecting upon how some things are different in Connecticut as opposed to my native South. Por ejemplo, you don't order a "pizza" in New Haven, you order a "pie." Also, it's not "cheese," it's "mozzarel," as in "mozzarella." Interestingly, people from Connecticut are referred to as "Nutmeggers," at least according to the Bed, Bath and Beyond employee I asked... Anyway, the highly anticipated difference for which I was particularly apprehensive has arrived: winter, and with this winter an uncommonly prodigious amount of snow. Let me deconstruct this experience a bit.... last Friday, Elise and Luna drove to Nashville from Memphis to commence our trek back north. We did a little re-arranging and a lot of praying, but we managed to cram (and I do mean cram) all of our paraphernalia into the car and continued on to Knoxville for the evening. Side note: we stayed at the hotel where our friend Sean works because he got us an excellent deal, gotta love friends with connections... Luna was in the bed with Elise in the night, but for some reason decided she needed to be fair and accommodating. Thus, the next morning I woke up with not only a Luna in my bed, but also in a full-on spoon, with Luna as my little spoon. But I digress... Elise and I made excellent time, considering it was snowing in eastern Tennessee and they get a big ole "F" in road-clearing and salting, and we toodled along into New Haven listening to Harry Potter and singing to the iPod. However, when we got off the interstate we were stunned into silence: there were several inches of snow EVERYWHERE. But this was only the beginning, for just a few days later it snowed again, this time two feet worth. Here are a few pictures:
This last picture is the back of the divinity school. When Elise and I awoke to the two feet of snow outside our door, we were at first terrified of it, so we hid inside for the morning watching Dexter. By mid-day, we decided that the only logical conclusion to our predicament was to embrace the wintery scene and play in it, so I went sledding for the first time in my life down the hill which is the bane of my existence every morning on my trudge to class. It was sheer frolicsome bliss: I rolled, I dove, I giggled, I slid... we didn't have class because the roads weren't clear enough for many people to get to the divinity school so it was an excellent afternoon of finding something I can truly love about Connecticut.
There are many things to learn regarding living with and in snow. For example, you must get up and shovel your sidewalk so that it is passable for the community or else you are fined by the city. Also, one should knock the snow off of one's shoes before entering their vehicle. It's also easiest to keep one's house shoes by the front door so one doesn't track muck into the house. According to the estimable Dean Townes, silk long underwear is the way to go for optimal warmth. It is also tiresome to navigate the 6 ft+ snow mounds in parking lots and sidewalks. Coming home from the grocery store last night, we saw a bus beached on a snow bank from taking a corner too sharply. I already despise Connecticut drivers, and was fearful regarding how much worse the situation would get once the snow came. In the South, people see a snowflake and take it as a sign to assume their vehicles are now bumper cars. However, thus far Connecticut drivers are still their usual selves--mediocre at best, but no worse than usual.
All in all, I'm choosing the PMA route regarding my new identity as a snow bunny: a Positive Mental Attitude. I'm perpetually cold, yes, but it was also beautiful to see Luna jumping like a jackrabbit, and then like a kangaroo, and then like a burrowing groundhog through out backyard, leaving a glittering trail of joyous moments in her wake. I also have not had many moments of unadulterated joy like I did in a snow pile with new friends as I embraced my inner-elementary school child. There was a moment whilst sledding when I'd rotated in my descent to be facing uphill while moving downhill, only to find Luna in hot pursuit of me a mere foot behind, both with beaming grins on our faces. I know that there are going to be times of deep frustrated as the semester marches onward and I want nothing more than for it to be warm outside, but for the time being I'm finding grace in adjusting and enjoying.
PS- please enjoy this video of some new friends and their love of the weather: